Archives for March 2008

US Census Bureau confirms it: People love this place!

Austin Metro area among the top 10 for numerical and percentage growth nationwide

I love reading news like this.  The US Census Bureau produced findings that ranked the Austin-Round Rock Metro area as #8 in the nation for most population growth.  Naturally that growth spills over into my beloved city of Georgetown, Texas!

numerical growth

What makes this more significant is that as a percentage of current population, this area is actually #5 in the nation with an average growth of 4.3%!  The growth is pretty evident to all who live here as new roads, new developments and new shops and stores pop up constantly.  It’s definitely optimistic for the housing industry as this influx of people transplant and look for a new place to lay their head.

percent growth

If you’re one of these “new Texans,” I’d be happy to put my lifetime of relocation experience to work for you!  Whether your search is broad, and you’re just looking for homes in Austin, or specific, and you want to investigate individual custom home communities in Georgetown, Texas, check out my website for great information on real estate in Georgetown, Texas!

No Job? No Prob! Start your business in Georgetown, Texas!

Starting a Business in Georgetown Texas
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It’s hard to start a business. Yes, I can say I’m speaking from experience. When I was in the Army and stationed at Ft. Hood, I chose to commute from Georgetown to take a break from the military environment of Ft. Hood. It was a worthwhile 45 minute commute! After I got out of the Army in 2004, I jumped into real estate with both feet and didn’t make my first sale for several months! I also found out we were having a baby. I also found out that my house payment went up $400 because it was incorrectly assessed in the first year. I also found out that Autumn likes to shop for designer purses…if you really know Autumn, that’s a joke ok?

Well, it’s nice to know that if you are unemployed and wanting to start a business, you’re doing it in a city that has the right economic conditions for it. Well guess what? The City of Georgetown, Texas has the right conditions baby! Fortune Small Business ranked Georgetown Texas #2 in the NATION for the best place to live and launch a small business! Here’s the link if you want to read through the entire top 100. The original article is below:

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Population: 37,963
Pros: Business friendly tax structure, entrepreneurial camaraderie, scenic suburb of Austin
Con: Higher housing costs


Austin’s entrepreneurial community may be among the strongest in the country, but its heavy traffic and urbanization have driven some experienced business folks to look elsewhere. Enter Georgetown. This suburb of Austin has transformed from a sleepy bedroom community into a city with its own identity and a rapidly growing business climate.

Located 26 miles north of the state’s capital, Georgetown has welcomed 270 new businesses over the past two years. The state’s lack of individual and corporate income taxes is just one reason Texas is considered business-friendly. On a local level, Georgetown charges relatively low water and electricity rates, and its property taxes are among the lowest in the region. As part of the Greater Austin area, Georgetown entrepreneurs in the city’s growth industries – healthcare, life sciences, and technology – can seek out additional support from the region’s business-development efforts. A convention center slated to open next year should help further build Georgetown’s up-and-coming business scene.

Georgetown is considered one of the prettiest cities in Williamson County, especially during the spring and summer months when poppies and wild flowers are in full bloom. Housing costs tend to be higher than in many of Austin’s other suburbs, but residents who settle into one of the city’s restored Victorian homes or new Tuscan villas can enjoy a walk along the bank of the San Gabriel River or play a round of golf on one of the five local courses. Mountain biking trails around Lake Georgetown lead riders to the edge of Texas Hill Country. As the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin still offers the best selection of performing arts in the region. However, Georgetown’s annual food and arts festivals, independently-owned restaurants, rodeo, and nearby wineries are enough to keep residents close to home most of the time. -Brandi Stewart

Our First Family Missions Trip to Mexico

Mexico is closer than you think.

africa.gif Contrary to popular belief, not all missions trips involve traveling to Africa…

One nice thing about living in Georgetown, Texas is that you can drive just 4 hours away and be in a different culture, outside of your comfort zone, and interact with people who you normally wouldn’t even say “Hi” to. Recently, my church in Georgetown, Texas (Hill Country Bible Church) planned a trip to Piedras Negras, Mexico to lend a hand to an orphanage there called Casa Bethesda.

What is Casa Bethesda?

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In the Bible – John 5, there is mention of a Pool of Bethesda which means “house of mercy.” It was here where many people with sicknesses would come in hopes of being healed. Jesus healed a man who was lame for 38 years at this very location! For the past several years, Pastor Paulino and his wife, Betty, have been doing a similar task by accepting orphans into their church and home with the hopes of bringing them healing. Many of these children have physical impairments and are wheelchair bound or have been diagnosed with lifetime disorders like Downs Syndrome and Autism. This man, Pastor Paulino, obeyed God’s call to accept these children and care for them and we have partnered with him to help. (By the way, there are two men in the picture to the right. In case you haven’t guessed it, Pastor Paulino is the man on the left. The one on the right, John Mize, is as American as they come, complete with baseball cap and jean shorts.)

So here’s the latest development: We have recruited two physical therapists to help these children for the next 2 years on a rotational basis. They will reside in an on-site apartment, that has been built by generously donated funds and volunteer work. Our mission for this trip is to paint it and furnish it with donated items.

IMG_4860.JPGMy purpose in sharing all of this was to tell you what an awesome time I had bringing my family down with me to Mexico. I just realized that two-thirds of what I have written above is only the background behind these trips! Here’s what it comes down to though: My wife and three children (Joshua, Chloe and Sabrina) stayed back at the living quarters and helped prep the meals for everyone while I did some of the physical labor (like painting and moving stuff). As a young daddy, I really want to raise my children in an environment that promotes service and not selfishness, I want to teach them what it means to sacrifice your time, your money and your skills to help others who don’t have nearly as much. I think these trips help drive the point home more than any lecture can…and I trust that God will slowly instill these principles and truths in their lives.

I put together a short video on the trip that shows what we did. Enjoy…and let me know if God moves in your heart to go on the next trip in July!

See Video of the trip:

Georgetown Texas Neighborhoods – Georgetown Village Series

Georgetown Village – My neighborhood…and maybe yours?

I have been wanting to write about my neighborhood, Georgetown Village, for quite some time. I live here. I buy and sell homes here. I invest in rental homes here. One day in the future, I will even shop here, once the developer starts working on the much anticipated multi-use development that many residents are waiting for. To get you a bit more familiar with my neighborhood, here are three good reasons to look at Georgetown Village if you are making a move to Georgetown, Texas:

1. This is the ONLY neighborhood in Georgetown, Texas with an on-site Elementary School. Yup, that’s right. And not only that, Village Elementary has been given the highest rating (Exemplary), making it one of the best schools in Georgetown, Texas. Now if that doesn’t give parents who send their kids to private school or who home school, a reason to switch, I don’t know what will!

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2. The developer-owned Green Builders is making an industry statement in Georgetown by building environmentally friendly homes that are also friendly to the homeowner’s utility bills. All the other builders in Georgetown, Texas can say they have ceiling fans and double-paned windows…big deal. These guys take the next step and utilize foam insulation, low-volatile organic compound paints, and other architectural details like awnings or overhangs that provide additional shade in the home. Here are a couple homes in Austin they put their brand on:

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3. Primo-location – Georgetown Village is super close to Hwy 195 (for those working in Killeen/Ft. Hood), SH130 and future Parmer Lane/Ronald Reagen Blvd (for those still stuck in their Austin jobs) and ofcourse the wonderful Interstate 35 for those who work in Temple or Round Rock. Even if you’re fortunate enough to work from your home, this makes it easier for friends and family to find you.

(“A” icon denotes location of Georgetown Village)

Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog


Should I sell or should I rent my home in Georgetown, Texas?

FREAK – Frequent Real Estate Asked Kuestions

D-and-T-Bargain-Center-Sign.jpg“Back in the day” when we were just starting the accumulation of toys for our children we used to go after some real bargains on Craigslist. Sometimes we would get a toy for such a great deal that when the kids got tired of playing with it, we would sell it on Craigslist again…for a profit!

Well, unfortunately, selling a home in Georgetown, Texas is not the same as selling a toy. I just received this letter today from a lady in my neighborhood:

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San-Diego-Letter.jpgHi Edward.

I believe we may have met once or twice in the village and it seems you do quite a bit of work out here.

I own a home in Georgetown Village and have just accepted an offer for a job with my company out of state. Because I’m only planning to be gone for about 2 years I am considering whether to try to rent my home rather than sell. My husband and I built this home and really like the floorplan, etc. so I’d like to hold on to it if it makes sense financially since we anticipate being back in this area in the future.

To help me make the decision of whether to rent or possibly sell I’d like to get an idea of what rentals in the village go for and how cumbersome the rental process really is – from observing the activity it seems many homes have been up for rent and appear to have people in them now. Is this something you can help me with?

Thanks,
Sarah

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freak_show.jpgWow, that’s a great question Sarah and you’re certainly not the first to ask it. That’s why I’m posting this in my new Frequent Real Estate Asked Kuestions Category. Ok, I know that’s not grammatically correct and there is maybe just one spelling error, big deal. How else could I make the acronym spell FREAK?

The thing with selling a home is…it’s EXPENSIVE! The costs you have to pay as a seller, although negotiable, are typically around 8% of your sales price! And if you plan on buying a home here in 2 years Sarah, you’ll also have to pay title fees and lender fees…adding up to an additional 2% (minimum) of fees. That means, if you decide to sell a $200,000 home and then buy it again in two years (assuming zero appreciation), you’ve already spent $20,000 just to make the two transactions happen! Good thing selling toys on Craigslist doesn’t cost this much!

Even if that $200,000 home sat vacant for 1 year and the mortgage was $1500/month, you would only be out $18,000! By the way Sarah, rents in the Village average $1200/mo. – $1600/mo.

If you make this decision for purely financial reasons, then it just seems as though keeping a home that you already love is the way to go. Two years goes by quickly. However, like Master Card says, “There are some things that money just can’t buy.” For $20,000, how would you like to:

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  1. Not having to ever worry about making two payments.
  2. Be able to pull out the equity in your home (tax free) for investments or other uses.
  3. Get out of the property management and/or landlord business
  4. Have the option of buying another home/neighborhood when you come back to Georgetown, Texas
  5. Having the freedom to stay longer and maybe never come back to Georgetown, Texas
  6. Have the best real estate agent in Georgetown, Texas help you buy and sell a home!

Wow, I really like #6! Sarah, I hope that helps. Feel free to comment on this blog or call me anytime.

Georgetown, Texas Real Estate Blog


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